Organic approach to our cafe culture

I write in response to the Cafe Tasters’ visit to the Watermark Cafe, North Bay, Scarborough.

We think it was a fair review and hands up to insufficient menus and lack of pricing details on the cake stand. Unfortunately they missed telling you something much more important – what the ethos of the cafe is all about.

We believe in locally sourced food, organic where possible, and meat from animals that have had a decent life, not raised on industrial farms where animal welfare is secondary. Even our coffee is produced locally although we can’t actually claim it was grown in Yorkshire!

For example our sausages and bacon are all from outdoor reared animals, eggs are all free range/organic. We will not buy anything less. The cakes are made with organic flour and eggs. We have moved on from seasonal vegetables by even having seasonal cakes – highly recommend the beetroot and chocolate not to mention the parsnip and ginger cake, all sourced from a wonderful village bakery in Sinnington.

The breakfast prices at £5.25 (regular) and £6.85 (large) include coffee/tea and 20% Vat! and are far from ‘excessive’; ingredients like these cost more than standard catering products. Eggs used in commercial catering are often from chickens imprisoned in cages. Bacon and sausages often come from overseas where animals may well have spent all of their pitiful lives in small pens. The results are cheap mass-produced food full of dubious chemicals and the promotion of animal cruelty.

Contrast that image to the pigs enjoying life at Trotters on the fields alongside the A64 near Scarborough. Sadly many people turn a blind eye to food produced in this way. We never will.

Judging by the busy cafe we are proud to own, many local people agree with us and to them we say thank you so much for your support. We are also developing the cafe as a live music venue with a strong jazz and blues theme which I am happy to say is proving very popular.

This year should see a new extension and the introduction of other items on the menu, more vegetarian, more choice for children and food for the margins, ie gluten free and diabetic items.

We also want all our milk to be organic – Bluebell and Bramble should be arriving on the farm this year but will not be spending their lives in prison!

Peter Johnson


Watermark Cafe